Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVI
Notice of Conductor Change from Seiji Ozawa to Derrick Inouye for L’enfant et les sortilèges
Seiji Ozawa, Director and Artistic Director of Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, who was scheduled to conduct Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, has cancelled all appearances for the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project XVI.
Ozawa was diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis on March 2nd and will adhere to the advice of his attending physician to be hospitalized for approximately a month to undergo further tests and focus on receiving the necessary treatment.
Canadian-born conductor Derrick Inouye, who was a student of Seiji Ozawa from Toho Gakuen Music School, will conduct in Ozawa’s place. Ozawa places great trust in him, and he conducted L’enfant et les sortilèges at the 2017 Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (OMF Opera and Opera for Children).
He was also music director of the Regina Symphony in Canada and has been engaged by the Metropolitan Opera among others. Joseph Colaneri will conduct Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi as originally planned.
Derrick Inouye Biography [PDF]
We sincerely apologize to those who were looking forward to the performances conducted by Seiji Ozawa. Ozawa holds this lifework project dear to his heart and is extremely disappointed that he cannot deliver the performances under his own baton. We apologize for any inconveniences and concern, but hope you will await his recovery and look forward to seeing him pour his strength into music and educational activities once more.
We appreciate your kind understanding that refunds will not be provided for this conductor change.
In apology, the official program that was scheduled to be for sale (value 2,000 yen) will be distributed on a complimentary basis to the audience.
[The change is as following]
- Ravel: L’enfant et les sortilèges conductor change from Seiji Ozawa to Derrick Inouye
- Puccini: Gianni Schicchi conductor Joseph Colaneri (no change)
Please contact the below for any inquiries regarding this change of conductor.
- Dedicated phone number: 0120-002-201
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Dates: March 8 (Thu) through March 25 (Sun)
[Comment from Dr. Masato Okada]
As Mr. Seiji Ozawa began to have fatigue and appetite loss, he came to us for medical check up, Gastroenterological exams did not reveal remarkable findings, but echocardiogram showed progression of his aortic valve stenosis. Impaired blood circulation to peripheral tissues is thought be a reason of his recent generalized symptoms. Aortic valve stenosis means narrowing of the opening of the aortic valve, which leads to a decrease of blood flow to systemic organs. At this moment treatment of aortic valve stenosis should be prioritized as conducting musical performances can be a burden to his heart.
He needs to undergo some tests to determine the most appropriate therapy, and it would take a month to complete necessary treatments in hospital. He is eager to participate in observed rehabilitation in the ward to maintain his physical activity.
I expect that Mr. Ozawa becomes able to resume his musical activity by mid-spring.
Masato Okada, MD, FACP, FACR, FAAAAI.
St. Luke’s International Hospital.
[Comment from Seiji Ozawa]
I am truly full of regret that I have become unable to conduct L’enfant et les sortilèges. I deeply apologize to everyone who was looking forward to this. I am also personally disappointed, but I wish now to focus on treatment and to recover my strength so that I can return to the podium soon.
The Seiji Ozawa Music Academy is a project we initiated to create an opportunity for young musicians to experience, feel, and study top-class opera. Ken Sato (then-president and current Chairman Emeritus of ROHM Co., Ltd.) ardently identified with my aspirations and provided the support to launch this in 2000. My close friend David Kneuss comes from New York to direct, world-class singers come to perform, and musicians, my longtime colleagues, enthusiastically coach the young students of the orchestra.
This project is dearly precious to me. I am grateful to each and every member of the audience who has watched over and supported these initiatives. Although I am unable to conduct, my brilliant colleagues, who have supported my ambition for many years, have produced the opera, so it will undoubtedly be a magnificent work. It would be my greatest pleasure to have you enjoy the results of this project, which means so much to me.
Director, Seiji Ozawa